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Comparing the Builds

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on December 24, 2007 at 2:35:37 pm







fil here, cutting in line 1-22


Earlier Snapshots


Level 13 snapshot

  Celestine Sul (as ghost)     Rass Designation 32 Gwyn Hieractus
melee to hit +15/+10 +11(+6 Mindspy)     19 typical, 25 buffed +15 (Touch Attack) +8 +22
ranged to hit +7/+2 +10(+6 Mindspy)     10 typical, 13 buffed +17 (Touch Attack) +9 (ranged touch) auto (Magic Missle)
1. of attacks(usually) 2 sword or warshaper     5 when buffed 9 2 2
damage/attack(usually) hellfire blast: 9d6 (1/round) -or- Jade: 1d6+11 (2/round) 1d8 or warshaper or telek     2d6+12 greataxe, 1d6+6 armor spikes, 1d6+9 bite + maneuvers + saint adds against evil/undead/evil outsiders 1d8+3d6fire+1 1d6 or magic 1d10+8+martial strikes
ac 25 32(+6 Mindspy)     34 normal, 51 buffed 24 29 normal, 41 Divine Companion 33
touch ac 18 24(+6)     27 normal, 40 buffed 12 25 normal, 37 Divine Companion 27
flatfooted 24 32(+6)     25 normal, 35 buffed 22 28 normal, 40 Divine Companion 22( uncanny dodge)
flatfoot touch ac 17 24(+6)     20 normal, 26 buffed 10 24 normal, 36 Divine Companion 16
hit points 75 156     are we going with max now? 94(154 with use of Vigor) 122 if using max? 170
saves f/r/w 11/4/2011 17/19/25+mettle     13/11/21 normal, 17/14/26 buffed 9/12/10


(with Divine Companion + Prophetic Favour: 23/18/26)

+ 10 Ruin Delver's Fortune

+ 10 Mysticism Domain

14/16/13 (+1 vs. spell)
cast level 11th       11th (+1 at night) 12th

12th Sorcerer

7th Cleric

14th if Fire

+1 Good

+1 Divination

spell penetration - ?         1d20+CL+10  
move style+speeds land 30 ft/fly 30 ft (w/warlock invocation). fly 60 ft w/druid spell 30' fly (perfect)     40ft normal, 80ft buffed; druid spell for flight if needed 30ft.

30 ft. +

Fly 60 ft. when buffed

land 30'/fly 60'
raw stats STR 8, DEX 8, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 16, CHA 16 Str 6, Dex 10, Con -, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 29     STR 14, CON 22, DEX 14, INT 14, WIS 25, CHA 18 STR 12, DEX 16, CON 18,INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 18 STR 10, DEX 12, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 23 STR 10, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 14
stats modified STR 29, DEX 13, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 21, CHA 19 Str 6, Dex 10, Con -, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 35     STR 22, CON 30, DEX 18, INT 14, WIS 34, CHA 18 STR 12, DEX 16, CON 18,INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 18 STR 10, DEX 12, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 16, CHA 31 STR 10, DEX 24, CON 18, INT 20, WIS 14, CHA 18
hide 1 32*(36 mental)     25 normal, 27 buffed   -5 (+ Invisibility) 6
move siilenty +1 5*     5 normal, 7 buffed   -1 6
spot +4 18     16 normal, 34 buffed 6 +1 2
listen 4 18     16 normal, 29 buffed 7 +3 2
bluff 4 36     4   +15 4
diplomacy 4 35     4   +31 19
sense motive +4 19     7 normal, 12 buffed   +8 15
tumble - 5     7 normal, 9 buffed 17 Untrained 16
immunities - undead     acid, cold, electricity, paralysis, fear, uncanny dodge (resistant to fire), DR 10/evil poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, and energy drain, stunning & daze effects.

charms, dazing, diseases (inc. magical), stunning, fire damage


(When buffed Magic Circle blocks posssession/control)

uncanny dodge, freedom of movement
typical buffs Entropic Warding and See the Unseen are always up mindspy, detect thoughts, host body     Shifting, bite of the whatever (werewolf for now), enhanced shifting spell, crusader delayed damage pool, stat boosting items, haste, owl's insight Vigor, Defensive Precognition, Concealing Amorpha, Auras via Singe

Extended Luminous Armour, Righteous Aura, Extended Mage Armour


With buffing time: Fly, Invisibility, Magic Circle vs Evil

Magic Vestment, Greater Magic Weapon X2, Extended Skill Enhancement X2 (Concentration & Iaijutsu Focus), Extended Resistance Item
bonuses from buffs Darkvision 60 feet, see invisible creatures, entropic shield effect, pass without trace effect, cannot be tracked by scent +6 att/AC if I'm reading     attribute boosts (STR, CON, DEX from bite spells + bite attack), WIS from Shifter spell, WIS and STR from shifting, see invisible from shifting, ability to get more swift actions from RKV Extra HP, AC boost, Concealment, misc bonuses +6 AC (included), -4 to opponent's attack rolls, +4 Sacred bonus to Cha, explode in positive energy burst on death, +4 AC vs touch (included) +3 to AC weapons and resistance, +8 concentration and iaijutsu
anything else I missed? Before adventuring will buff up more with 24 hour flight, possibly invisibility, and druid buffs *N/A in material world or different usage, host bodies change everything, Cabinet 31, possession 30, hex curse 28, fast healing 3     tome of battle maneuvers + full spirit shaman casting, spirit sight, constant ghost touch  

See Invisible


Significant boosts to damage (Prophecy's Shaper, Smiting Spell, Mark of the Enlightened Soul, Blistering Spell), tho requires buffing time and some are situational.


Free metamagic (Heroic Metamagic + Unfettered Heroism, Residual Magic).


Born of the Three Thunders, Blistering Spell and Smiting Spell add debuff effects to blasting spells.


Excellent undead killing ability with Purge Undead.


Energy Aegis and Ruin Delver's Fortune gives immediate action defensive options.


Cold Vulnerability (+50% damage)

See invisible, ghost touch, wands, manuevers







I'd like us to have a chance to compare each of our builds (both now and in the future). I've made some estimations when I didn't know something. Also, this is mostly comparisons without buffs ... things could certainly change a lot as different possessed bodies/wildshaped forms/buff sequences/spells are choosen. I'd like people to edit the evaluations of their own builds for greater accuracy.


Here are a few things we can compare on (suggestions very welcome):

  • Survivability (ability to avoid nasty things) & HP survivability / AC (including evasion, DR, etc.)
  • Combat utility
  • Out of Combat utility


10th level Builds:



- Estimated: 13/8/8 Saves, 28 AC, ~80 HP. Lots of Akashic/Chameleon Trickery


- 17/15/21 + reroll 1s for Saves, 28 AC (including touch and flatfooted), 82 HP


- 14/16/21 + Mettle for Saves, Incorporeal, Rejuvenation, AC 28, 181 HP (one tough mother)


  • ZarZak - Planar Shepherd Warlock - snapshot in main page

- 11/4/11 Saves, ~63 HP, 24 AC; 23 flatfoot, 17 touch


- 12/12/11 Saves, ~105HP, Evasion, AC30



DavidWL -

Surreal is one tough mother. I'm doing pretty good. I'd say: Surreal > DavidWL > NoldorForce > Dhraksis = ZarZak


Although part of the reason I'm putting ZarZak towards the bottom is that it looks like he intends to be in the thick of things with a Werebear from. So, my summary: Surreal is definitely too tough to really hurt unless it can attack him directly. I may be a little too tough. ZarZak needs beefing up if he plans to be in the thick of things (buff sequence?).

^^- ZarZak - Celestine, with his wonderful warlock abilities, can and probably will spend all day flying around shooting ridiculous eldtrich rays and spells at people. The werebear form just happened to be a good one for this level as it gives big stat boosts and is a humanoid form. He'll also have some strong battlefield control utility.


^^Surreal - Sul is indeed very difficult to hurt, moreso if I have a strong host body to inhabit, in which case it's almost impossible to do damage to me directly. However, I do have other limitation (see below). My ability to actually deal damage is also highly dependant on what bodies I am able to inhabit; otherwise I sit squarely in the role of disabler.


^^Noldor - At this point, Vintereth will probably buff-and-switch, preferably with stuff Extended by a rod. That AC will probably be increased in a few ways. And at 12th level, weirder stuff will happen (see below).



Combat utility


Please flesh out some stats for each of your builds:

- At the moment, just a many-hit fighter type. At later levels, this will change.


  • DavidWL - Theurge Charisma Monkey

- Nasty Spellcasting (many choices, DCs = 22+lvl, CL=15)


- combat involves a couple options:

a) possessing whatever is the biggest melee threat (and/or whoever has the lowest will save)

b) trying to mentally disable my opponents (daze, confuse, stun, etc. or outright mindgames)

c) sending in my shadow companion with the negative aura and to do ~6 Str damage (if any of the casters could follow up with a maxed out twinned Ray of Enfeeblement or somesuch, that neutralizes a threat pretty quickly)

d) under ideal circumstances (ie: never), I can do all of the above simultaneously


My ability to deal any real combat damage is highly dependant on what kind of bodies I can possess. Otherwise, I sit back in the role of disabler. If all the enemies are immune to my mental tricks, then I suppose I have a couple other options:

e) possess an ally and grant bonuses to stats (+4 Str/Con, +4 to another (can be either Str or Con again)

f) hide, possibly possess an item held by the enemy to sneak away with them after battle (assuming I telepathically tell the team to call a strategic retreat)


  • ZarZak - Planar Shepherd Warlock

- Full Druidic casting, Warlock abilities, and Werebear form. 8d6 Hellfire blast each round, + whatever battlefield control spells/invocations are needed. He'll be flying so he'll be able to get a good scope of the field. Probably quite effective



- mobile tank with good damage output, tripping ability and good defenses(its very hard to full attack him in melee)


DavidWL -

Looks to me like everyone is good, although as stats get fleshed out we'll see if anyone is particularly overpowering when it comes to laying smackdown on monsters. To some extent this depends on the tricks people intend to use. If we knew stats for the primary trick, that could help (chance to hit, number of attacks, average damage or DCs and CLs, etc.)



Out of Combat utility


Looks to me like everyone is good. Please flesh out some stats for each of your builds:

- Some social skills, bits of trickery with Knowledge skills, and low-SL arcane casting. With time to prepare, spell and feat rerouting can occur. Don't forget item crafting, either. If/when I can get a copy of Lords of Madness (still can't find my original copy), I'll work out something for that mean Elder Eidolon.


  • DavidWL - Theurge Charisma Monkey

- Very flexible spellcasting, Social Monkey with +24-+36 on a few social skill checks


- With an incorporeal changling ghost, he has lots of tricks

- my options here actually aren't that different from my combat options:

a) possess bodies, read thoughts, telepathy, multi-lingual, gather info, I spy with my little eye

b) Changeling Rogue substitution level lets me make quick gather info and social sense motive checks

c) I do NOT have a good trapfinding ability, but as a ghost I can float a through anything and easily scout relatively undetected

d) David/Tanner's Fiend of Possession will have many similar abilities

e) I am not the primary face despite the skills and high Cha; however, in a couple levels I will take a level of Marshall and be able to boost everyone's Cha skills


  • ZarZak - Planar Shepherd Warlock

- Full Druidic casting (and later on, Clerical). Out of combat Celestine can open gates to other planes, and do lots of nature-y stuff (the druid spell list is pretty big). He can also sneak around quite well depending on the shape he's in. Some out of combat tricks, but not so many?



- highly effective scout, limited tracking ability


DavidWL -

My thought is that I don't know what role Dhraksis wants to play out of combat. I think that NoldorForce and Surreal make for great sneaks, and I make for a great face. Also, I don't know what ZarZak can/would like to do. I don't know much about Druids...


Other Thoughts


DavidWL -

In the higher levels ...

  • He'll keep up via the flexibility of chameleon/akashic - NoldorForce
  • The fast growth of the utility of magic will mean that this grows faster tan normal. DavidWL - Theurge Charisma Monkey
  • I wonder ... as levels get higher, will his build need beefing up? Maybe add some more LA on one side? Dhraksis
  • Because of the uniquenss of his many tricks, I think he'll be good throughout. Surreal
  • He'll power up amazingly as soon as he gets access to the Solar form (CL 17 Clerical casting! Full Solar goodness!). It will be a stretch for any of us to keep up ... ZarZak

^^- ZarZak - Celestine will access to Planetar form at lvl 14, Solar form at lvl 18. He'll also soon be able to access Titan form, and Efreeti form. This is besides all of the other forms he can take (a huge number thanks to planar shepherd).


Just a start ...





I pretty much hit the high point of my "tricks" at mid level with Cabinet Trickster. The next few levels speed up my mind reading with Mindspy and introduces Master of the Unseen Hand (which I'm actually not too familiar with, but it seems like the right thing to use). If anything, my power curve slows down significantly from this point on. Grabbing leadership is an option which I'm still mulling over. Any suggestions for the later levels? I just threw Swordsage in there because ToB seems like the popular thing to use.


Noldor - Vintereth's power will increase as she rises in level. 12th level will be the biggest increase in power, considering the +2->+4 boost in Ability Boon, multiple Aptitude Foci, Permanency availability, and Polymorph Any Object (brachina have 12 HD). There's also the eventual fun of starting out with the divine focus and burning its spells out before swapping to combat, which will come at 14th level (aptitude focus 3/day). Plus, there's warshaper goodness and the collection of feats and ability increases from Evolved Human. Finally, the akashic abilities are all very useful: continued sneak attack, skill goodness, feats, and an eventual 7th-level SLA. If we go into epic levels, Vintereth will probably continue her chameleon//akashic progression. The former grants higher caster levels and more bonuses to existing stuff, while the latter eventually grants 9th-level SLAs and the ability to sneak attack practically anytime (useful with Staggering Strike).


DavidWL - Surreal, with the potential to read 4 minds at once and apply your "tricks" with a DC of 28+, that doesn't seem half bad. To power up more, take extraordinary concentration at higher levels letting you get 3 Full Attacks via Master of the Unseen Hand (1 from standard action, 1 from MotUH fast concentration, 1 from Extraordinary Concentration with a high enough check). Finally, perhaps Fil would let you apply a Rod of Chain to your Telekinesis (doesn't exist, but base it off of a rod of maximize), so you can "go nova" 3 times per day?




fil here 1-21

Looks like folks are gettig down to the nity gritty on their builds.I'll of course be looking to get a collection of stats to use... ac, hp, attack and damages, range on attacks, social skills, save dc's forms of perception for all characters under off guard, on guard, and buffed circumstances. over time, I'll ned to have folk's power scales towards now to 30th level... this can be over time, but I'd need to know now and next level abilities.

Things like prefered alternate forms, buff sequences, and tricks are good. Y'all are doig a great job keeping things rolling, and I look forward to dolling out xp at the start o the actual game.

I'll want to post a chart with everyone's power levels to monitor, so I can make sure I'm not tossin anything too weak or powerful at the right circumstances.

I also am roll-heavy in social circumstances, treating relavent conversations as CR's.. so having a face is nice, but more than one is good... those will be scaled accordingly as well.

I often have high and low successes and failures for important negotiations. so that is just more xp opportunities for you guys.

Bear in mind, you guys that can change forms will want to take into consideration what those stats will do to the rest of the team. if busting solar loose all the time keeps you in pace with the team, do it. if you are throwing the team out of whack, be conservative with your choices.

Again, I will match challenges to your statistics, so when I compile that table, if we are seeing blatant unbalance, we'll want to discuss how to cover those differences.


Until I started running games this way, we never broke down what we can do so specifically-- but with such liberal allowances on character construction and progression, it is extremely helpful. If you are used to doing this, then thanks for helping keep it organized! If this is new to you, then you'll be pleased at seeing how you and everyone will set the pace in various aspects of the game. Generally speaking, if one character is more than 15 above or below the average then it is out of whack. an average team with touch AC around 25 should be concerned if one character has a 40 or another only 10. (notice this example is touch ac... which sets the pace for all "to hits". the tank could have AC 55, but a touch AC of 20. he's easy mage bait... but if the rest of the team is touch ac 35, then he's a bit out of whack.)

spell flexibility is obviously a worrisome variable. knowing what you are capable of doing will help define what you should do for the party balance.


^^fil here... surreal, keep in mind that we are going ot be spending time in the spirit world as needed... sul is strong on the prime, but on the ethereal he's at risk. you can possess folks in the spirit world, but they can easily poke you in the eye while you try.

I anticipate spending decent chuncks of time both on and off the prime.. in fact, most combat will likely occur in the spirit world where demons angels, elementals and other spirits are in their strongest, true forms... generally, the mortal realm will be a place for economic, political, and social conflict... outright violece will often just cause trouble and strain on the various factions in power. Granted, this can flip as the plot demands.

so there ya go... consider the various dimensions (pun pun) of conflict.

I'll have to add a spirit world/elemental side and prime/outer plane side for sul, and the shadows' sakes.



^^- ZarZak - Fil, when you said power scales from now until 30th lvl, did you mean until 20th lvl or do you want epic progressions? If its the latter, I'm not quite sure how the epic bonus feat divying out will go (unless you just have 1 at 21, 24, 27, 30).


^^fil here 1-21.. don't worry about epic progression until we get to it. we only really need to know what will happen 1 or 2 levels ahead of time. There may only be one or two major conflicts per level, and expect each postsequence to be 1% of needed xp per level... so you guys could just bs for 100 posts and gain a level... I"ll post more on this under campaign rules real fast.


^^Noldor - How far into epic do you plan to go? I ask because AE simply doesn't have support for epic levels; the extra five levels beyond 20th is its version thereof.


^^fil here 1-21

I don't care. we will NOT be using epic spells. we'll simply use eldritch machines as per ECS instead. you'll have access to epic feats every three levels as per standard epic rules, you just can't play an "epic akashic" since it lacks rules.. just pick something new to start. we'll worry about that when we get there. Without epic spells, epic play is very viable.


^^Noldor - I can (and probably will!) go 25 levels into akashic without skipping a beat...I was instead wondering if/how far we'd go beyond that.


^^fil here 1-21 without "epic spells", non- casters have a chance of actually catching up to casters in power.. granted it will likely come through magic gear and artifacts (built a bow that cast "flaming arrow" spells with each shot... 4 maximixed admixtured empowered flaming arrow spells per round is respectable for an archer)

Also, even a rogue can construct an eldritch machine to do the impossible. I just won't give you any set rules.. you'll have to research them the hard way... plenty of adventure to be had there!


^^DavidWL - addressing some of your points Fil

  • When you want stats from each of us, just create a "Form" listing what you want on some page, and we can each Fil it out. (I couldn't help myself)
  • Regardling spell flexibility - while a key "trick" in my build is spell flexibility, I'm completely fine with starting with fewer recalled spells (Like a Spirit Shaman instead of a Wizard) - while I'd still be very flexible, my "drop of the hat" flexibility would be a little less. I'll start working on a spell list, so that you can see what kinds of spells I'd like to select.
  • In my opinion, I don't think Surreal is terribly vulnerable even on the Spirit World ... he still has good AC, great saves, rejuvenation, amazing HP. All he really loses is the incorporality and the possession - it's a lot to lose, but he still has a lot of defensive ability left over.
  • FYI: there are rules for an Akashic through level 25 ... just not past that.
  • A random thought: If we gain 1% exp per post, and post twice per day (very aggressive), that's 7 levels a year, or 3 years to go from 10th level to 30th level.


Surreal Whoa waitasec... did Fil just say I can possess folks in the spirit realm? I never even considered that. If we can collaborate on a way to knock down an angel/demon's Will save, I'll have a really juicy body to ride around in. As for being vulnerable in the spirit realm, I forgot that I do have my warshaper abilities, so at least I'll be armed and whatnot. I still need to figure out how I'm going to equip myself though (I misread how some of my gold allotment worked; so I need to refigure stuff out; at the moment I've only spent maybe 20k).


^^fil here 1-22

not just anyone, surreal.

what you can possess anywhere:



magic beasts

monstrous humanoids



costructs (any, drop the warforged caveat)




what you can't possess anywhere:

spirits-- which comprise the follwoing:





these creatures are typically "soulless"... their physical bodies are their spirits.

the exception to this rule-- anything capable of possessing can be possessed- if it has a physical body to possess. ghosts and shades have no physical body.. they can't be possessed. But a marilith demon could be possessed if it itself is capable of possessing. things that can possess are capable of abndoning it's body to control another. this leaves them open to possession themselves. (ironic)

so you can try to possess them if you wish, but it's a crap shoot. You can use magics and what not to identify who can possess, and stalk them speciically. Another wonderful adventure to pursue. A strong outsider will likely be defended if leaving its body to go off. Bear in mind, good forces channel... which akes the physical body with it. only the evil types will possess. so you will only have access to the evil.


^^Noldor - @DavidWL - Indeed, I'll be taking all 25 levels of akashic if possible (as mentioned above). There's too much goodness to not take the levels, such as uber-blindsight, 9th-level SLAs, and the ability to gain ANY non-epic class feature (excepting spellcasting) in the manner of the chameleon's bonus feat. On the other side, I'll be heading into Spelldancer ASAP (at 22nd level, right after taking a custom epic feat in the epic chamelon progression) and will be able to Persistify a lot of stuff at juicy-high CLs.



DavidWL - Surreal, with the potential to read 4 minds at once and apply your "tricks" with a DC of 28+, that doesn't seem half bad. To power up more, take extraordinary concentration at higher levels letting you get 3 Full Attacks via Master of the Unseen Hand (1 from standard action, 1 from MotUH fast concentration, 1 from Extraordinary Concentration with a high enough check). Finally, perhaps Fil would let you apply a Rod of Chain to your Telekinesis (doesn't exist, but base it off of a rod of maximize), so you can "go nova" 3 times per day?

^^Surreal Whoa, totally missed this earlier. I'm going to have to read up on the MotUH on the boards as I don't fully understand all the mechanics behind it yet. How exactly does the "nova" work in this case?


^^fil here. a full attack still uses a full attack actio in the round... it isn't sped up. this si a specific modification of the MotUH. If you had a way to actually cast Telekinesis as well, then yes, you could have an sla and spell active simultaneously, but again, sustained force or maintaining concentration are the only 2 things that are affected by move actions... atacks of all sorts require at least a standard action, if not a full round attack.

quicken sla would allow for 2 actions per round, but this is a very high level spell that is not accessible until nearly epic levels.

sorry to be a party crasher. I don't see this going nova.

Now, a beholdermage with multiple telekinesis eyes could easily go nova with MotUH. I've played on in the past, and they are ripping fun.


^^^DavidWL - Fil, RAW, I think I disagree with you. The text of the MotUH refers to the "Combat Manuever" or "Violent Thrust" abilities of TK, which only requires concentration (as is the case with all TK abilities). This was the root of the TK builds on the optimizion boards. However, even without that, Surreal could potentially go for a "Chain Spell Like Ability" feat which would presumably be available at 16th level (assuming you rule it ok for a SU ability).

Relavent Thread:

As always, as DM you can veto, but I don't think there is a RAW reason to veto.


David (who is thinking to himself, "boy it's a stupid thing to argue with the DM", but posts anyway :)

P.S. Extraordinary Concentration, while wonderful, unforetunately has the phrase, "This feat does not give you the ability to maintain concentration on more than 1 spell at a time". My bad, that.

P.P.S. I just realized why you (Fil) were saying what you were saying. In the text of the "Sustained Concentration" ability of the MotUH, it says, "It still takes a standard action to use combat manuever or violent thrust versions of the ability". Let me add that the text is talking not about a time cost to use the manuever, but a time cost to *concentrate* on the manuever. So, if you have ways that let you concentrate multiple times, that should still apply.



^^fil here.

good call, david. the standard action is accurate, but yes, if he can manage to maintain multiple tk's simultaneously, the standard action would apply to all tk's active as a swarm.

SU abilities are not modified by metamagic, tho.... you could take a feat to "drop" tk from su to sla, eventually givin you access to chain tk through some creative dm'ing, followig the quicken sla format already in rint. strictly surreal's choice, which may be viable into epic levels to maintain power with the casters.



celestie = full casting and better alternate forms

tanner = full casting and better eldritch master

sul = posession and Master of the unseen NOVA Hand



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